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Edith Schippers Appointed New Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sport

Edith Schippers was appointed new Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sport, replacing former Minister Ab Klink. Queen Beatrix swore her in on October 14, 2010, along with new Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his coalition cabinet. The Netherlands had been without a government since the June 2010 general elections, which followed the February collapse of the Dutch government. Following intense negotiations, the Prime Minister Rutte's free-market Liberal party (VVD) and the Christian Democrat Party (CDA) joined into a conservative coalition, and with an agreement guaranteeing parliamentary support from the Freedom Party, the new government will hold a narrow majority of one in the 150-seat Dutch parliament. Prime Minister Rutte's cabinet comprises major players from the VVD and CDA. Minister Schippers has been Prime Minister Rutte's number two in the VVD, and was a close advisor during coalition negotiations. She served as a policy advisor for health, welfare, and sport for the VVD in the Dutch House of Representatives from 1994 to 1997, and secretary of the VVD Health Committee from 1998 to 2000. Minister Schippers is co-author of "Close to Better Care" ("Dichtbij betere zorg"), the VVD's memorandum on the future of Dutch health care.


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